Monday, October 25, 2010

The Communist Manifesto

The Communist Manifesto, originally titled Manifesto of the Communist Party (German: Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei), was first published on February 21, 1848. Commissioned by the Communist League and written by communist theorists Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, it presented the League's objectives and plan of action. It presents an expository approach to the class struggle and the problems of capitalism, rather than a vaticination of Communism's potential future contrivances.

Although the names of both Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx appear on the title page alongside the "persistent assumption of joint-authorship", Engels, in the preface introduction to the 1883 German edition of the Manifesto, said that the Manifesto was "essentially Marx's work" and that "the basic thought... belongs solely and exclusively to Marx."

There is evidence to suggest that Engels composed an earlier draft statement for a manifesto, which was then used as the basis for this later published document, the direct authorship of which can be attributed primarily to Marx. It is claimed in the text itself to have been sketched by a group of Communists from various countries that gathered together in London.

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